Friday, July 27, 2012

The Look for Less: Goodwill Fall Outfit Challenge

picture via

Do you remember that show, "The Look for Less" that was on the Style channel many many moons ago? You know, the show where the "contestant" is presented with two looks, $150 and one hour to re-create one of those looks? I LOVED that show. You know why? Because I was a broke college student who had enough time on her hands to care about fashion.

Well, that college student became a still broke but a very busy young career person and hasn't had a moment to breathe to care much about fashion. If it fits, kind of matches, and looks ok then not much time is spent looking well put together in the mornings. Now I understand how people end up on make over shows.

I'm trying not to become one of those people.

Unfortunately, running out to the mall and purchasing a whole new wardrobe for the fall is out of the question. Life threw us some curve balls in the most recent past (both good and bad) so we're running a tight ship at the moment. It's a good skill to have no matter where you are financially.

So, I set myself a goal. This year majority of my fall wardrobe will come from Goodwill, not only because I'll be saving money but also because it's for a great cause. You see, Goodwill of Southern Piedmont does great things in our community and I want to support them. Money from retail sales goes to fund programs that help individuals in the Queen City thrive.

Now you may be wondering why I'm telling you all this. Well, you see, two nights ago I had an epiphany! Why don't we take the concept behind "The Look for Less" and localize it?!

I'm currently coming up with the logistics and would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, or if you'd like to participate. Shoot me an e-mail ( or comment below!

Here is the criteria that I've come up with so far:

* Find one (or more) fall/winter 2012 runway or magazine looks that you would like to re-create
* Your budget is $25 (or less) per outfit
* One day time limit to re-create the look(s)
* Smart phone + Twitter account to share your journey as you participate in the challenge

The winner of this contest is Goodwill and our community.

Is there anything else that you think we should add to the criteria? Would love to hear your thoughts!!

You can shoot me an e-mail ( or comment below!

The date for the Challenge will be announced soon!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

DIY: Refurbished Antique Mantle

Our bedroom is pretty bare so finding a beautiful piece of furniture that can serve multiple purposes is key. I’ve seen several homes with either fake or existing fireplaces with the mantle painted and used as a place to display fun finds, family photos, etc. I think the obsession to find a mantle really started around Christmas time… when the one real fireplace mantle that we have in the house was not big enough to hold all the tchotchkes.

It’s not too difficult to find a mantle, however, when you have $100 or less to spend it can be very challenging. Buying a new one could set you back a minimum of $500 and it will be bare bones and boring. Anything that resembles a gorgeous antique also starts at $500 and goes up from there.

A friend of mine in Richmond found hers on the side of a swanky residential street in Raleigh and squeezed it in the back of her compact SUV. It’s free standing, large, and gorgeous and I wish I had picture of it to post. I drove around the Meyers Park area recently and had no such luck.

When my sis-in-law was in town a few weeks ago, we went to Sleepy Poet and mantles were on my shopping list. The first hour and a half was discouraging… $550…$790…$975!! Then, in the back of the store, I found one!! It was perfect and came with all the accessories for $90. Score! However, it was too big to fit in my car so I had to reach out to my husband for his muscles and his truck. We went back on Sunday of the same week to pick it up. In the back of my head I was worried that someone has scooped it up during the week. Luckily, it was still there and the owner of the booth was there too, ready to wheel and deal. He knocked the price down to $75 so after taxes it was a few cents over $80, which made me super happy. We loaded it up and brought it home.

mantle coming home

My wonderful husband wasted no time in tearing it apart so that it can be sanded, painted and turned into something even more beautiful. After a relaxing Fourth of July picnic at our officiating minister’s home and a round of disc golf, we got to work on the mantle. Luckily, Lowe’s was open and I picked up pre-mixed seasonal paint samples along with other necessary supplies (paint brushes, wood putty, nails, etc.). We squeezed every bit of daylight that we could and finally gave up around 10 o’clock at night.

Valspar's Lincoln Cottage Black #4009-2 & Autumn Fog #4007-1B

We continued with the project Friday night into Saturday morning and after several glorious hours working on a project together (something we haven’t really done since we planned our wedding) the mantle was done! Isn’t it gorgeous?!

the finished mantle!

The total cost of the project was about $100, which is not bad at all!

Now I’m on the lookout for more furniture for us to refurbish and modernize…

Friday, July 6, 2012

change is good: logo

For the past couple of months I have been dreaming up a new look for this blog and I'm finally turning the sketches into reality. It's going to be a slow transition but it gives me time to concentrate on what's important (both on and offline).

The first change comes in the form of a logo. I'm sure you guys have enjoyed starring at my backside for the past two years...

...but here's the new logo. What do you guys think?

Monday, July 2, 2012

#instaGOOD: Monday, June 25th

As I mentioned in my last post, here is the first post in a series titled #instaGOOD.

Monday, June 25th – Day off.

My sister-in-law and I took it easy in the morning, recovering from the amazing Brothers of the Sun concert from the night before. We decided to check out Sleepy Poet Antique Mall, an antique market here in Charlotte that has been a hideaway and a happy place for me for many years. I could get lost in there for hours!

beautiful ring and bracelet,
located in the cases in the first row after you walk in, on the right.

purple bottles,
located not far from the jewelry cases above

The rest of the pictures from our trip were taken with my point-and-shoot and I will share those at a later time.

After three hours and two growling stomachs later, my SIL and I met up with my husband for dinner at Paco’s Taco in SouthPark. This place, no lie, has the best fajitas in town. I would know, I’ve had a lot of fajitas in this town!

Firestarter Margarita & Tres Leches!

And that, my friends, was last Monday.


I’ve been teetering back and forth on whether or not to do a week in review through photographs, or may be just select days. So I’ve decided to give it a shot!

I’ve got to be honest with you, I check instagram more often than any other mobile social media platform. You could say that I’m addicted and when it went down for 14 hours this past weekend, well, I didn’t eat breakfast, my dog behaved, and the world was out of whack. Thank goodness it’s back!

So up next, last Monday through the filters of my instagram account.

For now, I leave you with this instagram meme: